This is not really a tour or anything near that. It’s a familial vacation. I usually spend Christmas in Batangas where some of my relatives are.
Years before I became a travel blogger, explored the Philippines, and went outside of the country, the farthest I’ve reached outside of Metro Manila is Lipa City in Batangas (I know, it was a little pitiful).
Lipa City is a mixture of a city’s modernity with a provincial atmosphere. A few hours away from urban Manila, Batangas is a weekend getaway favorite (aside from a trip to Tagaytay) for those living in the Philippines’ busiest cities of Metro Manila.
Days before Christmas, I practically stayed home and made-up for all my lost hours of sleep from my busy schedule in Manila. But on Christmas day, our household was greeted with a jeep-load of visiting relatives in the morning. Majority of which included cousins of the nth degree whom practically I’m not much acquainted with.
It was a sight with so many children practicing a Filipino custom of ‘pamamasko‘ expecting some form of gift/s in the spirit of Christmas. Temporarily, we were Santa Clause, and it was fun. Ho-ho-ho!
On a more intimate level, we went out in the afternoon. With some relatives who are devote Catholiccs, first stop was the church.
This is Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City, Batangas. Even if I am a Protestant by religion, I simply accompanied them and respected their religious preference.
Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City
Mt Carmel Church Altar
Next is the Philippine mall conglomerate called Shoemart. Almost every major province and city in the country is never without one.
As customary, we end up watching a movie from the Metro Manila Film Festival which annually concides with the local holiday season. Dinner followed.
Before going home, we decided to cap the cold night with a visit to Starbucks Lipa.
He is the travel blogger behind of Let's Go Sago.net. Graduating from UP Diliman with a degree in Computer Science, he is also the Managing Director of #DigitalCircles.asia engaging and amplifying social media campaigns for brands. On Mondays, he teaches information technology classes at Grace Christian College. Know more about him at JonelUy.com